Is Amazon Ruining Publishing?

There’s a lot of talk in the publishing world. Most readers have no idea of the conversation. But amazon has changed the way we look at books, the way we buy them, and yes, the way we publish them.

I’ll admit the first time that I heard about e-books I thought they were going to be a flop. (I missed the Build-A-Bear train too. Good thing I’m a writer and not in product development.) Anyway, eons ago one of my computer-savvy, adventurous writer friends took the plunge and put her books out in e-book format. I thought, what a waste of time. Boy, was I wrong.

Like many readers, I prefer paper books. There’s something about holding a book in my hands, looking at the words, touching the paper, smelling the whatever it is that makes print books smell the way they do. Plus, I don’t believe I have ever stayed up all night reading an e-book. I feel a bit removed from it. Like the story is in a glass case. I can look, even read, but I can’t touch. It’s no longer personal for me. Do I read e-books? Oh, yes. I have a Nook and a Kindle. I get my BookBub ad every day and I look at it, every day.

Yet I’m amazed at the people who ask me if my books are available in fill in the blank of their favorite reading format. Usually it’s paper. Do your books come in paper? This seems like an odd question, but the fact of the matter is so many authors are self-publishing these days, or publishing with a digital first or digital only houses, that a great deal of books aren’t in paper.

I feel that most people who read Christian/Amish fiction prefer paper. I think they need the backup of a product they can hold in their hands in order to feel comfortable spending their money. I’ll admit, I sometimes have a hard time buying music I can’t hold (in the form of a CD) or my son’s video games that go directly into his Playstation, but I’m working on it.

Back to books. We all know that we judge books by their cover. Even if only to say, “That looks interesting.” But for me, it doesn’t stop there. I look at the author’s name. Sometimes read their bio—after all, it’s feasible to believe that a man who served in the armed forces would write a darn good military thriller. At least concerning accuracy.  Of course I read the book description. But I always look for the publisher. Stacey tells me this is a writer thing. It’s not that I won’t buy self-published books. I do. And I have published many stories myself. It’s just another way to determine if I want to take a chance on an unknown (to me) author. If the cover is ‘meh’ is it because it’s from self-published author who hired the wrong cover designer? Maybe she has really bad taste, or she tried to make the cover herself. Or maybe she’s published with Well Known Publishing and she got the brand-spanking new intern? If the cover is fantastic and it’s a self-published book, I know the author cares about the details of what she’s putting out there.

From there, I decide if it’ll be my next purchase.

But what about price? The only time I let price sway me is if I’m looking at e-books that are over $2 and I still have 400 unread books in my Nook. Should I really spend that money to make it 401? Why can $3 be a deal breaker? I have no idea.

Amazon has made it easier for authors and wanna-be writers alike to bring out their books and present them to the public. This is both a blessing and a curse, because now, the readers must wade through more offerings than ever before to find something they like.

There are authors out there who blog every week about the perils and pitfalls waiting for authors on Amazon. There are those who back self-publishing 100% and there are those who would never self-publish for a variety of reasons. Then there are those like me who are considered ‘hybrid.’ I have an agent, I have contracts with a large publisher, and I have self-published books. But in the big scheme of things, it comes down to what the reader wants. What’s important to you? Is it price? A great cover? A well-known name? Do you buy everything a certain author writes without question? Does the publisher come into it at all? I’m just curious to know. I have the ‘writer’s mentality.’ Even when I’m playing the role of reader, it’s always there in the back of my mind. Be sure to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation. I would love to know what you think about the availability of books on Amazon. Has Amazon made it easier for you to find books or harder? How do you find the stories you want to read? What else would you like to share about books, authors, and publishing? Please remember to keep it uplifting. Name no names and point no fingers unless it’s in a positive light. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure applies to books as well. Please don’t ruin an author’s chances with another reader. And as always, remember to spread JOY!

After I wrote this post, I was asked if I would show how to tell who the publisher of a book is. Check out the following screen shot. This is for Titus Returns. This section of Amazon is under the author bio. So when you are on the amazon site and looking at a particular title, simply scroll down to find this info. As you can see from the image, the publisher is Zebra (an imprint of Kensington).

Now take a look at this image. This is for Brodie’s Bride. Under publisher it has A Squared Books which is my own publishing label. Other authors simply use their name.

Hope this helps! And don’t forget to leave a comment.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Marrying Jonah.* **

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Marrying Jonah, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, international winners may be offered an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

That’s right! Everyone who left a comment on the last blog received a copy of Marrying Jonah! Happy reading and thanks for commenting! A